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There’s no way to sugar coat it, PMS SUCKS.

Every month, “Aunt Flow” comes rolling in uninvited and she’s never alone. Bringing along painful cramps, fatigue, irritability and uncomfortable bloating, that time of the month is far from fun and for many of us, it can completely disrupt our daily lives.

From relying on over-the-counter medicine to heating pads and indulging in all of the not-so-good for you junk food (because we totally deserve it during this time), experiencing relief from menstrual cramps can be found in many forms and more and more women are reporting that CBD has been surprisingly effective in finding relief.

Why Do Women Experience Menstrual Cramps In The First Place?

All month your uterus prepares itself either for menstruation or to host an incoming embryo. Your body does this by increasing estrogen to build up its endometrial tissue, then after ovulation, it boosts progesterone to plump up that tissue with arteries and blood.

If an egg hasn’t been fertilized, your progesterone levels decline signaling your uterine lining to shed itself- to prompt this process, your body releases prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are a hormone-like substance that help regulate the female reproductive system; they’re involved in the induction of labour, control of ovulation, the menstrual cycle and even muscle contractions. Since they increase during menstruation, prostaglandins can cause a variety of effects including: inflammation, nausea, pain sensitization, heavy bleeding, uterine contractions, vomiting, diarrhea and headaches.

Women will typically experience menstrual cramps before their period starts and can last anywhere from 48-72 hours. For some women, cramps can be relatively tolerable, however for others they can be so bad they’re debilitating.

Over-The-Counter Solutions

NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as Midol, Ibuprofen and Advil can provide temporary relief of menstrual cramps. They do so by inhibiting the enzyme responsible for producing prostaglandins (COX-2), which in turn helps to decrease muscle contractions, pain and inflammation.

For those who are looking for a natural remedy that can help with menstrual cramps, give some of the below options a try during that time of the month.

Magnesium
Ever wonder why you crave sweets, especially chocolate during that time of the month? It’s because chocolate is high in magnesium which helps to reduce inflammatory prostaglandin levels. During this time, you can try taking a magnesium supplement or feel free to satisfy your chocolate (preferably dark) craving! If you’re not a fan of chocolate, other foods high in magnesium include avocados, lentils, green leafy vegetables and nuts.

Exercise
As much as you can’t imagine the thought of working out while on your period, it helps! Not only does exercising allow you to stretch and soothe aching abdominal muscles, but it also helps with boosting your body’s production of endorphins, which can act as a natural pain reliever. Whether it’s yoga or simply going for a walk, get your body moving and get those endorphins flowing!

Bring On The Heat
For many of you, heating pads or hot water bottles are your best friend during this time and for good reason! Heat increases blood flow to the area, which can relax the muscles of the uterus therefore easing pain.

Stay Hydrated
Something as basic as drinking plenty of water can really work wonders in soothing your menstrual cramps. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day can help to relieve muscle cramps, bloating and fatigue. Warm or hot water is usually best since it can relax cramped muscles, so try relaxing with a warm tea (chamomile & ginger tea are great options).

Finding Relief With CBD

Research has shown that CBD can have a direct impact on the cause of menstrual cramping. Just like NSAIDs, CBD has also been known to inhibit the production of prostaglandin.

By decreasing prostaglandin levels during your period, CBD can help to reduce inflammation, pain and cramps, but it can’t make menstrual cramps magically disappear all on its own. Since you can’t entirely eliminate prostaglandins, combining a prostaglandin-reducing treatment with other natural remedies can help target the discomforts caused by these enzymes.

CBD can be easily incorporated into your routine. By adding a few CBD Oil Drops into your calming tea or even dropping in a CBD Bath Bomb to your warm bath, you can experience all of the benefits these natural remedies provide you with so you can finally stop letting menstrual cramps keep you down!